Authored By Kara Zupkus
March 04, 2021
The Iowa Board of Regents has approved annual mandatory free speech training for faculty and students at Iowa’s universities, following a controversy exposed by YAF’s Campus Bias Tip Line.
The Board President, Michael Richards, cited an incident with a professor at Iowa State University, who threatened to “dismiss” conservative students from her class who voiced pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, or anti-BLM viewpoints.
“Every faculty, staff and student must feel confident that their constitutional rights are protected on our campuses and that they will not face retribution for exercising their rights,” Richards said. “We must also be honest and recognize that there have been times when this expectation has not been met. In these cases, we have and will continue to act quickly to recognize what has occurred, take corrective action, and educate those involved.
Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen called the syllabus in question “inappropriate” and pointed to the school’s response–a required free speech syllabus statement for all courses.
The board approved a requirement that a similar statement that be included on every syllabus at Iowa’s three public universities:
“Iowa State University supports and upholds the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and the principle of academic freedom in order to foster a learning environment where open inquiry and the vigorous debate of a diversity of ideas are encouraged. Students will not be penalized for the content or viewpoints of their speech as long as student expression in a class context is germane to the subject matter of the class and conveyed in an appropriate manner.”
This is another massive victory for YAF, as we continue to hold schools accountable for free speech violations and illegal discrimination against conservative students. From the University of Kentucky, to the University of Florida, to Loyola Marymount University––YAF’s Campus Bias Tip Line puts schools on notice that disparate treatment towards conservatives will not be tolerated.
If you or a student you know is facing bias on campus, submit a tip here.